Friday, June 29, 2012

Tickets Available NOW!!!! Chinatown - August 18th!

Time: Saturday August 18, 2012 · 6:30pm - 9:30pm
Location: Central Market North, 4001 North Lamar, Austin, TX

For my 14th Chef du Cinema class, I will be presenting a 4-course meal inspired by and paired with the 1974 Academy Award winning film Chinatown. Considered one of the greatest films ever made, Chinatown spins a mystery of both political and moral corruption in 1930's Los Angeles. The stylish neo-noir film made Jack Nicholson a star, and features timeless performances from both Faye Dunaway and John Huston.

The Menu:
Shrimp & Watercress Steamed Wontons w/Orange-Soy Dipping Sauce
Chinese Seaweed & Minced Pork Soup
Soy, Honey & Coriander Grilled Tuna w/Jasmine Rice
Orange-Ginger Chinese Broccoli
Chinese Toffee Apples w/Ice Cream

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Got A Little Write Up in this week's Austin Chronicle......

Got a nice little write-up on Chef du Cinema in my hometown weekly this week.... Unfortunately I won't be around to bask in the notoriety as I'm up in Montreal covering JazzFest for National Geographic. I may be missing the love, but I sure ain't missing the heat, thank you.

Chew on This:
Meet Ron Deutsch, the Chef du Cinema

By Marc Savlov, Fri., June 29, 2012

Photo by John Anderson

Food and film – the two most delectable and (when directed and consumed properly) the two most sumptuous and soulfully enriching art forms a person can indulge in – have always been deeply intertwined. Long before the Alamo Drafthouse and chef John Bullington forever challenged and changed Austin's expectations of what "dinner and a movie" could truly mean, there were the iffy snack bars and wonderfully greasy drive-in kitchens of yore. Junk food for junk culture, as it was viewed at the time. I remember gorging myself on drive-in fare so unappetizing that it had to be served, inevitably, impaled on a wooden dowel – as though it were some sort of revenant in a Hammer horror picture, or a forlorn bit of The Blob, necessitating rapid consumption lest it consume the unwary audience member. As a little kid, I loved it anyway. These days, not so much.

Thankfully, local food and film artisan Ron Deutsch is aiming to both elevate the filmic art form and elucidate for the audience the joy of cooking with both class and gas in his role as Austin's "Chef du Cinema." Deutsch is a longtime fixture in Austin's film and food communities, and a well-travelled scholar of both. (West of Zanzibar? He's not only seen the film, he's been there.) Since 2010, he's been pairing classic movies with four courses of obscurely delicious comestibles prepared, explained, and cooked in a classroom setting that doubles as a theatre when the stove is extinguished and the lights go down. His mission? You can do this too, at home, and you don't have to be Julia Child (or Roger Corman) to pull it off.

For the rest of the article, click here....

Sunday, June 24, 2012

TV Bites: Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)

Boiled Edamame (枝豆 - Soybeans in the Pod)

It's part deux of the "of the" double bill!

So, it's been up and down this last month or so. First, my cat Rocky came down with skin cancer in mid-April and I had to put him down about two weeks ago. It was initially a blow as with Chazz (my cat who died last year) gone, me & Rocky really started to develop a strong relationship. Originally he was my neighbor's cat across the street where I used to live. His owner was a very sweet little old lady who was so gracious my first year in Austin that she invited me over to spend Thanksgiving dinner as I really didn't know anyone much there then. Her name was Ophelia. Rocky and Chazz hated each other. But when she passed away and there was no one to really take him in, I did. He wouldn't come inside unless it was below 65*F or raining, otherwise he wanted to stay outside. So when I moved I took Rocky with me and he and Chazz operated under these very complicated rules of détente they had formally agreed upon. So for the last year, Rocky and I have been pretty chummy and I was expecting that to continue for a time. But so it goes. We did it here at the house. Actually outside. On this tree that has a big dip in it which he used to hang out on.

And now I'm looking forward to getting me some new kittens. 'Cause everyone loves kittens. Especially, on the Internet. My dear friend Tony recently found a kitten which became an Internet sensation. What a strange little world we live in. For those brief 15 minutes, Mercedes the cat was in millions of people's minds, trending higher than probably some reality TV stars. Who knows? But there's lots of things to concern ourselves with on this here planet we be spinnin' on. And yet, the 24-hour news cycle makes time for a story about a rescued cat. Perhaps we're not 100-percent pod people yet. Some of our emotional responses are still operative (and can be manipulated...beware!)

Obviously, of course, I'm merely setting up today's movie. Invasion of the Body Snatchers was a movie that was not supposed to be what it was. It was supposed to be just another B horror/sci-fi flick. But it wasn't. It did and continues to warn us of the dangers of what happens if we stop using our critical thinking abilities.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

The Class: Raiders of the Lost Ark

(Nepalese) Shrimp Curry
(Peruvian) Warm Wheat Berry, Quinoa, & Mango Salad
(North African) Lamb Stew w/ Cauliflower "Couscous"
(American) Strawberry Shortcake

First off, this is part one of my "of the" double bill. And by that I mean the next film is also titled "Something of the Something." So try to guess what that'll be.

Class went extremely well, though we were a bit rushed. I had a lot of food and movie to discuss before serving and eating. But everyone seemed quite pleased. Also, always glad to see how many return attendees I had. We even had one person who hadn't seen Raiders of the Lost Ark before. It's always a treat for me to see a movie with someone who's never seen it before.

You know when I began this adventure I was just sort of randomly picking movies I love and seeing what I could do food-wise with them. But I also avoided some movies I love mostly because I wanted to get this all figured out before I tackled them, and also because they tend to have an abundance of material written about them already (and that means hours and hours of research!) While some films don't have much written about them at all - either in print or online - others have enough material to fill a skyscraper with... like this one. But that doesn't mean Raiders of the Lost Ark is a "better" or more "important" movie than say The Lady Vanishes, for example. I just want to make that clear. The Lady Vanishes was made at a time when entertainment was not as dissected nor studied even in universities the way it is now.